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Published: 7 december 2012 12:04

Ūkio Bankas among bidders for new football stadium in Vilnius contract

Vilniaus stadionas
Kęstučio Vanago/BFL nuotr. / Žalgiris Stadium in Vilnius

Ūkio Bankas, owned by Vladimir Romanov, took over the dilapidated Žalgiris Stadium in Vilnius for a record 357 million litas (EUR 103.5m) in early November and is now taking part in a bidding process launched by the city to select a contractor for the construction of a new football stadium.

Arnas Žalys, the bank's chairman and president, confirmed this to BNS.

"Yes, we have submitted a bid. We fully comply with the requirements of the tender. We have selected a building company. The project would be developed by Žalgirio Sporto Arena (Žalgiris Sports Arena), the company whose shares we have taken over," he said.

Vytautas Grinius, the director of the local government's Economics and Investment Department, told BNS that the city had received two bids by a deadline on Thursday.

The names of the bidders are not to be disclosed at the moment.

Žalys said that he expected competition for the contract.

"I expect competition. The facility is attractive both in social and commercial terms," he said.

According to information available to BNS, the international sports marketing agency Sportfive International has shown interest in taking part in the bidding process. The Spanish consortium Hera Holdings and the Polish building consortium ViaCon Polska earlier showed interest in building a national stadium in Vilnius.

The city is looking for a company to design and build a new football stadium with at least 10,000 seats and infrastructure. The local government would pay for the facility in installments over a period of ten or more years.

Construction of a national stadium in Vilnius was launched back in 2007, but the facility has been mothballed due to insufficient funding. The Lithuanian Football Federation's stadium in the capital city was renovated in 2005. A new football stadium with more than 6,000 seats was built in the southern town of Marijampolė in 2008.

However, Lithuania currently does not have a UEFA category four stadium.

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